These lime shortbread bars have a tangy lime curd layer over a buttery and melt-in-the-mouth shortbread base.
Based on these Meyer lemon bars, this recipe for lime bars with shortbread crust is super simple and delicious. If you're looking for lime recipes and you've got a bunch of limes to use up, here's a recipe for you!
The best type of lime to use for this lime slice recipe is either a key lime or a Tahitian lime (otherwise known as a Persian lime.) That being said, if you have another citrus in abundances like grapefruit or lemon, you can use those too.
If making substitutions, avoid using pure orange juice as this won't have enough flavor or acidity to cut through the sugar. It needs lime or lemon juice alongside it to balance it out.
Use a 9x9 inch ( 23 x 23 cm) square baking tray or one of similar size.
Alongside the limes, this recipe uses simple pantry ingredients.
- Limes - As discussed above, this lime shortbread bar uses Tahitian lime or key lime.
- All-purpose flour - this is used in the shortbread base
- Granulated sugar - cuts through the lime bar tartness
- Butter - a key ingredient in the buttery shortbread base
- Eggs - this helps the creamy lime curd filling set
- Salt - enhances the flavor
Step by step instructions
The lime bar shortbread crust
The base layer is made from a buttery shortbread mixture.
In a food processor, blend together the softened butter, flour, lime zest, sugar, and salt until it creates a soft and crumbly dough.
Press the mixture into a 9x9 inch (23x23cm) parchment paper-lined pan or baking tin. It doesn't make a cohesive dough but, the butter in the mixture will allow you to press it firmly down into the tin. It helps to use a glass or similar object to press it down.
Bake this in the oven for 20 minutes until very lightly browned.
The lime curd
The topping of the lime bar is a lime curd, made with limes, eggs, sugar, and a little flour for stability. Unlike regular lemon curd, this lime curd isn't pre-cooked. The ingredients are simply whisked together and poured over the baked shortbread layer.
Whisk the flour and the sugar together first to get rid of any flour lumps. Then add in the eggs and lemon and mix until well combined, but not so much that it becomes frothy.
Bake again until the lime curd has set. Slightly shaking the pan will show if it has set or not. There should not be a wobble to the curd.
Serving and storing
Once baked, cool the lime squares to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least an hour before slicing. Dust powdered sugar over the top at the time of serving.
Store lime bars, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze the lime bars for up to three months.
Lime bar FAQs
Yes, cut the cooled lime bars and place the sliced bars (without powdered sugar), onto a sheet, and put the freezer for about an hour until firm. Wrap each bar in foil or plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container and freeze.
This works well with lemons and grapefruit too. If you want to use sweeter citrus like orange, combine it with tarter citrus to help balance out the sweetness.
This is a sign that the curd layer was not set and could have done with a longer baking time.
This recipe is written using grams as the main measurement.
If you don't have a scale US* cup equivalents are also included, however, using a kitchen scale to measure grams will give the best and most consistent results.*US cup sizes are smaller than metric cup sizes.
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- 200g (1 ⅔ cup) all-purpose flour
- 50g (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- Zest of 1 lime
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 180g (¾ cup + ½ Tablespoon) softened butter
Lime curd layer
- 200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 30g (4 Tablespoons) all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- Zest of 1 lime
- pinch of salt
- 120g (½ cup)fresh lime juice
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) regular oven, or 320°F (160°C) fan-bake.
- In a food processor, blend together the softened butter, flour, lime zest, sugar, and salt until it creates a soft dough.
- Line a 9x9 inch ( 23 x 23 cm) baking tray with parchment paper, then press this mixture firmly into the tray. Bake it for approximately 20-22 minutes until lightly browned and just baked through.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and the sugar for the lime layer until well combined. Add in the eggs, lime zest, lime juice, and salt, and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture of the baked base and place it back in the oven.
- Bake for a further 17-20 minutes until the lime layer has set. Giving the pan a little shake should see that there is no real wobble left to the lime layer.
- Once baked, cool the lime slice to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least an hour before slicing. Confectioner’s sugar can be dusted over the top at the time of serving.
Grapefruit can be used instead of lime to make grapefruit bars.
Oranges can also be used, though use half lime or lemon, and half orange juice to balance out the sweetness.
The cup sizes given are for US cups. Note that these are smaller than metric cup sizes. For best results, use grams.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 135mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 3g